This is what happens when a bare-foot stranger in tights approaches you in a crowded park and asks: “Do you want to join us?"
Okay, so I’m sure this isn’t what always happens- but being the mild germaphobe that I am, I’m glad I assessed his feet, my tights, and concluded that I would be sufficiently protected from any serious germs.
It started when Chantal, Sarem and I were awkwardly attempting to record workout videos in Dolores Park. We noticed a group of people nearby doing much less awkward- actually impressive, partner poses. Overestimating ourselves, we started to mimic the poses on our own. Nick, the kind bare-footed man, saw our struggle and invited us over.
He demonstrated with his partner, how easy the poses were once you had the proper positioning, and how posture and trust were key to ensuring the physics of the poses worked.
While my friends and I were successful in completing the poses with each other, there was still some nervous laughing, shaking, and spotting (support from experienced people in case we fell) necessary. Nick offered to “base” us. This meant it would be time for his feet and the front of my hips to make contact.
I left my friend go first. 😅
She was visibly and audibly excited at the ease of her lift-off, and immediately let her hands go to extend her torso into full “flying" position. Now I was ready.
Getting into the start position, I immediately felt the difference between my friends little feet digging into my hips creases, and Nick’s feet feeling like comfy pads. After the super smooth liftoff, I felt so comfortable that I extended my back more and reached for my feet to get into “bow" pose.
The initial joy of achieving the pose, combined with an intuitive desire to maintain the pose- caused an increased awareness of your body’s stabilizing muscles, and trust in your base. The result was a very unique mental calm and serenity that was intimately connected with your physical positioning.
I had never been happier to be making contact with a stranger’s bare feet before!
He asked if we wanted to hang upside-down, and at this point we were much less hesitant. This position involved more steps, so I still let my friends go first to make sure I was still avoiding flesh to foot contact.
This was also dope! The simultaneous joy and peace from flying, could also be found in “bat” position. I had a newfound appreciation for acroyoga, and its ability to leverage physics to enable human body to achieve new physical and mental elevations.
The next day, my friend’s back muscles were sore from being worked out by the extensions, and I got an amazing stretch for my hip flexors and quads.
Our wonderful instructor, Nick, is looking to go on the road with his partner to formally teach acroyoga across the nation. I got his contact number and hope to follow his progress. In the meantime, I definitely recommend you trying out acroyoga! It’s easy if you can get to Dolores Park in San Francisco- the people practicing are super friendly, so all you have to do is ask! If you’re in Georgia or just want to mitigate any barefoot fears, try an acroyoga studio, or very carefully try in your home using online tutorials!